We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Hot Bunking?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Historical Index is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Historical Index, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Hot bunking is a practice common particularly in the naval armed forces and on submarines where several soldiers share the same bed. The bed is still warm from the prior user, hence the term hot bunking. When sleeping quarters are limited, as they especially are on submarines, and when staffing is required around the clock, soldiers both work and sleep in shifts. This could mean as many as three people share the same bunk on a submarine.

Due to the overcrowding in many US prisons, there have been some suggestions that it might make sense for prisoners to also work and sleep in shifts. This type of arrangement would provide more bed space, but might be difficult from a security standpoint. An important aspect of guarding prisoners is the dependable nature of their schedules. In many prisons, people may spend the majority of their time in cells. It is suggested that hot bunking might be best used in minimum-security prisons where prisoners actually hold eight hour daily, or nightly, jobs.

The idea of sharing space for sleeping has led to other means in which people might also share limited resources. The term hot desking has been coined to mean several shift workers who share the same central desk at different times of the day. Since they don’t work the same shifts, the desk would otherwise not be occupied. From a perspective of saving space, hot desking is an economical and now more popular practice in the business world.

Another idea related to hot bunking is the idea of people in companies sharing cars, or the idea of several people owning a shared car. This is still called hot bunking a car, though as it becomes more common, it may soon lead to a different term. Again the focus is on pooling resources, saving space and money.

Not everybody is a fan of this practice, and it has sometimes been used in armed services in a discriminatory way. Fears particularly in the US military about women and men using the same sleeping quarters, or even more so, concern about homosexuals in the US armed forces has led to accusations that occasionally hot bunking is used to keep certain people from serving the same shift and sleeping at the same time.

Often the practice is not based on discrimination but merely a practice of best using resources. It can give you pause to think about what it might be like to never get to sleep in a freshly made bed. Yet it is only one of the many sacrifices people in active military service must make to perform their jobs under difficult circumstances.

Historical Index is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Historical Index contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Historical Index contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.